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Samir's Critical Corner

I love good writing. Samir's Critical Corner will have reviews on World Literature but you will also find reviews on various subjects like Mathematics or Tai Chi, and on specific niches like Nigerian writers.

Currently reading

South Sea Tales (Oxford World's Classics)
Robert Louis Stevenson
Progress: 122/289 pages
Freedom Evolves - Daniel C. Dennett 100 pages into this book and I became utterly bored. I find it hard to digest holistic overview approaches when used by a philosopher to prove his point. Let me say at the outset that I never studied philosophy (although I did study mathematical logic) and I haven't read much in the field either, and that my criticism is that of a writer and an enthusiastic reader who's always curious. The few classic philosophy texts that I've read in the past held me from start to finish, like a good novel does, and cajoled me into understanding where the philosopher is coming from and what it is he's trying to achieve. What I like about that is that the philosophy is argued within the realm of philosophy - logical thought arguments. More modern approaches seem to be overly scientific in that they actually need to site latest developments or discoveries from the hard sciences such as physics or neurobiology to...well, to sort of validate themselves. Like arguing for the sake of arguing within the parameters of the available knowledge in their field is.. pointless. I don't know if this is true, or a general shift in the field of modern philosophy, but reading it in these bestseller-type books is exceptionally boring to me. Besides, the eastern civilizations have, for centuries, approached the 'big questions' holistically - and they've done a brilliant job at explaining the universe without the scientific method or modern technology. So if philosophers and scientists have an itch in their pants to need to tackle these grand cosmic questions using their western tools, at least write about it bearing in mind that I'm a pea brain who likes digestible chunks of information without repetition, over explanation, mathematics, references... I mean, seriously, either stick to your academic papers or take a damn writing workshop if you insist on tormenting me with your rhetoric, you just might publish something worth reading outside academia.